The GAPS diet was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride a doctor in both Neurology and Human Nutrition. It was adapted from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, developed by Dr. Sidney V. Hass.
I came across the GAPS diet from a mom that I babysat for. I learned a lot from a book she let me borrow, written by Dr. Natasha herself, called Gut and Psychology Syndrome. This book explains Dr. Natasha’s extensive research and experience creating the GAPS diet and how it is largely based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
If you would like to learn more about the SCD a good book to read is Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Healing Through Diet written by Elaine Gottschall. Elaine had a daughter with severe ulcerative colitis and neurological problems.
She brought her daughter to the creator of the SCD, Dr. Sidney Hass. After two years on the diet her daughter showed no symptoms. Elaine devoted many years of research to the diet and helped thousands of people suffering from similar diseases including celiac disease!
What is the GAPS diet?
GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Dr. Natasha proposed this name for disorders that result in the gut-brain connection. There is a ton of information on this and it really is fascinating to read about so I’ll just cover it briefly.
Dr. Natasha believes that many neurological disorders originate in the gut and that the brain can be directly affected by the state of the digestive system. Disorders and disabilities that fall under this category include; Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, A.D.D, A.D.H.D, Depression,and Schizophrenia along with many others.
Dr. Natasha believes that by healing the gut, you can also treat neurological disorders. The scientific and clinical evidence pointing to the gut-brain connection can be found in Dr. Natasha’s book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome.
I for one, love the idea of natural healing. Anytime I have felt sick, my first thought has never been to take a pill. I would rather wait it out and let my body fight things off on it’s own if it can.
How GAPS heals
The Gaps diet focuses on healing through diet. You get rid of every type of food which is feeding bad bacteria in your gut and focus on eating real, whole, nutritious foods that promote good bacteria.
Sugar, starches, and grains are some of the main types of food not allowed on this diet. Now, you might be thinking, “Starches and grains aren’t necessarily bad for you.”, and you are right. Normally they are not, but if you have a compromised gut, these foods are what is allowing the bad bacteria to stick around. Get rid of their food, and you will get rid of the bad bacteria!
An important thing to note about the Gaps diet is that it is not meant to be a diet you stay on for the rest of your life. Yay! (Let’s face it, restricting your diet is hard!) Unlike a gluten free diet, Gaps is meant to heal and seal your gut lining and return you back to your normal diet, with a healed digestive system.
Now, when I say “normal diet”, I don’t mean go back to tons of processed, sugar, additive filled foods. You will eventually end up right back where you started before Gaps. You need to keep eating healthy, but you will be able to add lots of foods back in that you have been missing!
Why Choose Gaps for Celiac Disease?
When learning all of this information about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the GAPS diet, we decided to try the GAPS diet because we like the way it is set up, with the more rigid Intro diet to get started, followed by the Full Gaps diet. We also like how it really focuses on taking steps to heal the gut and intestines.
Jarett was facing so many symptoms that we wanted to go with the one that would give us the most structure and maximum amount of healing. Ultimately, we chose it because it seemed a little more rigid and intense. Crazy…. I know, but we were so sick of Jarett being sick that we thought, if we were going to change our lives, we may as well go all the way.
We started with the GAPS Intro diet. That took us about a month to get through and we plan on sticking with the Full Gaps diet for a year. Sign up for our newsletter if you want to know how the diet is working for us!